Today in Myanmar’s history 

A recent sign at a tea shop in downtown Falam, Chin State, forbidding patrons from discussing politics within the premise…and an excellent yet natural facial expression of this person in a blue sweater

This is the kind of morning you will remember.

Countdown: three more months till elections in Myanmar.  Today’s headlines will sell papers for weeks to come, and books for years to come, with repercussions in our lives, direct or otherwise.  Already, this has impacted my life by forcing me to fly out to another town in short notice for a meeting and cancelling a dinner, which is now five plus weeks outstanding.

But of course this is nothing compared to the degree of political, social and economical implications caused by the forced departure of the Speaker of the House, of the incumbent party.  Seen as a punishment of defying party lines and being too chummy with the opposition leader, the ousting of U Thura Shwe Mann is significant, not only because of its happenstance – we all know there will be news before the election – but also because of the way in which he is forced to leave, complete with colorful images of security forces surrounding a building and all.

The way people talk about this news … sudden whispers, shut doors …reminds me of another event eleven years ago – the fall of Myanmar’s Military Intelligence, headed by all powerful U Khin Nyunt, some of whose close advisors just recently came out of their scattered prisons as recent as nine months ago.

This morning shows who’s in charge, who has power and how far Myanmar has and has not gotten.

At the end of a day like this, confusion and uncertainty cloud people’s minds. Are foreigners getting deported?  What’s going to happen?  Will we go back in time?

One wonders.

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